Tag Archive: Reviews


Blog Awards

I want to express Thanks to all the bloggers and readers who click on this blog and have a good read each time. Thanks to all the bloggers who decided to bestow on me these awards.

The Best Blog Award from Pamela. Her blog is at Life – Day and Night

Forever Friends Award from Sandra. Her blog is at Sandra’s World.

The final award comes from Pat over at Pat’s Letters God Inspired .

To help us celebrate we have Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance. I love this song.

Thanks, Merci, Gracias.

***I must apologize to all my friends who have Blogspot blogs. I am having a problem leaving my thoughts on your blog. I am trying to solve it. I have not forgotten you at all.

My past weekend in Kingston, Jamaica was by far the best or one of the best I have ever had. In part because I was so busy. There is always some activity going on to entertain people here. One of my favourite places to eat out in Kingston is Jamaica Pegasus and they are up to date with Social Media. They tweet a lot and I follow them. Check out their Twitter Page. They had a Jazz Competition where they invited their followers on twitter to take a photo that signified Jazz. Interestingly, I won and instead of the two tickets, we got four. The winning photo is below.

The Winning Photo by Craig Bloomfield

Event: Jazz in the Gardens – Organs and Vocals in Harmony

MC: Michael Cuffe

Featuring: Dean Fraser, Robbie Lyn, Keisha Patterson, Desi Jones (drums), Diana Rutherford, Glen Browne, Dalton Browne, Ronald Buchanan and Lloyd Denton.

Celebrating ten years, the staging of Jazz in the Gardens at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in association with Capital and Credit Financial Group Limited was a huge success. With a cold front and chilly weather patrons were on time to relish and dance to the good music emanating from the stage.

To kick things off Diana Rutherford was amazing in her set, belting songs that Jazz lovers appreciated. She impressed many with her soulful voice and had many eating out of her hands, singing every line. She was charming throughout. After her performance, the emcee Michael Cuffe invited her back onstage for a second applause. She is married to a French national who resides in Jamaica. Of course, she said a few sentences in French which the audience did not understand but it sounded good.

Continuing an evening with lovely music, Dean Fraser, Robbie Lyn and Desi Jones lit up the stage with their set. The night was cold but you ignored you were outside and continued rocking to every beat they played on stage. I listened to jazz music all day Sunday before attending the show. I was surprised that they used an organ in their set. Normally they play the traditional piano, this was different. It worked though, it sounded very clean. Many of the ladies who came inappropriately dressed, based on the unexpected shift to the cold weather did not complain much. I guess the music had their full attention.

After the first half of the show, Jazz in the Gardens had an intermission which allowed the patrons to partake in the hors d’oeuvres which was lovely apart from the extra spicy chicken – it’s still hot :). Surprise guest artiste of the night Taurus Riley who flew in on the night sang to Nancy McLean (employee of Jamaica Pegasus) in honour of her birthday. This was well received and had the audience participating. Even more, a segment was dedicated to patrons who were celebrating/celebrated birthdays and anniversaries. They were feted to cake and drink which I am sure was good.

For the second half of the show Keisha Patterson took the night away. Belting out many songs, she was incredible. She performed Jazz Standard songs which had the audience singing.

I love Jazz music because of its rhythm and how smooth it flows. There was this gentleman sitting in front of me who was having a great night. He would hold his hands to his chest in awe as the music played. He gave a thunderous applause after each performance. Not to be outdone, there was a lady behind me who seemed to have known all the songs, even if they played the instrumental. Overall the night was amazing. I think I would be correct to say everyone got their monies worth – Jazz in the Gardens was ecstatic.

During the show they promoted the next staging of Jazz in the Gardens which will be on April 25, 2010. Even if I am not privileged to have a free ticket I will pay to experience an event like this. It felt like paradise. The event hit the right jazz notes to make you want to be there. From a marketing perspective I think the sponsors could have branded the location better. They must have known the night would have been windy and that should have given them ideas as to where they could have strategically placed their branding materials. They were out of sight; this means they are out of mind too. From a business point of view it would have been good to see them. It was also sad to have not seen more young adults there experiencing the good music. They are being fed mediocre styles of music so much that they have begun to think that popular music in Jamaica is all there is. It would have been heart warming to see more young adults at Jazz in the Gardens. We will get their though.

I do think for the April Staging that there should be a designated area for patrons to dance. On Sunday night, I saw patrons acting ‘wildly’ in their seats, they wanted to dance. I would have loved to see an area where persons could dance and really enjoy themselves.

While I am experiencing all of this, the journalist in me could not be contained and so I got two interviews. One is with Diana Rutherford and a gentleman called Patrick. If there is a patron who totally enjoyed it more than everyone present it would definitely be Patrick. The emotions he showed during the show, that will make me remember him.

Photos & Video

Diana Rutherford on stage

Hors D'oeuvres

My Interview with Diana Rutherford

I would not have seen this movie because it is just not one of those that grabbed my attention because it is not a full drama. I was mistaken.

This post was inspired by Crystal Tyler who left a comment asking if I had heard about the twists in this movie and if I had seen it.

Well, I have now and it blew me away. I liked the movie. I would watch it again if I had two hours or more to spear. The film could have been shorter but maybe it needed that time to tell the story. My head is spinning just recollecting all the twists in this movie. I hope I will do a good job because this is a movie you can’t sleep in, no bathroom breaks either. If you do, you would have missed out on a piece of the puzzle.

Shutter Island

Directed by: Martin Scorsese

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kinsley, Michelle Williams, Emily Mortimer, Patricia Clarkson, Jackie Earle Haley, Max Von Sydow.

It’s 1954 and U.S Marshal Teddy Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his new partner Chuck Aule (Mark Ruffalo) are being sent to investigate the escape of Rachel Solando played by two women (Emily Mortimer and Patricia Clarkson). Do not be confused everything is explained. Rachel, a young woman is convicted of killing her three young children and has escaped from her cell, she is considered dangerous. Shutter Island is a federal maximum security hospital/prison for criminally insane patients.

The movie begins with Teddy Daniels and Chuck Aule in a conversation. Truth be told, this is their first meeting which is revealed closer to the end of the movie. So their role is to solve this big mystery of the missing patient at Shutter Island. There is no way off the island, only a ferry seems to have access to it. Upon their arrival they are briefed and reminded of all the rules that govern Shutter Island.

The cops are introduced to Dr. Cawley (Ben Kingsley) who thinks everyone is a potential patient at Shutter Island. He is good in the film, very serious and seems to be in all the right places at all times.

There is no way to escape Shutter Island which leads Teddy Daniels to think Rachel is still on the island. Teddy Daniels is being haunted by his own hallucinations of his wife Dolores (Michelle Williams) who haunts him constantly. He is still in love with his wife, who appears to be helping him solve the case as well – giving him directions.

After the hour mark in the film the pieces all fall into place with an ending no one could imagine. Leonardo DiCaprio in the movie is at his best. His co-star Mark Ruffalo sometimes is shaky but he holds up to the calibre of DiCaprio. The different juxtapositions in the film are not to confuse the viewers but help in some way. Some roles are doubled with conviction. It leaves the viewer in a position where you become a lost person in a maze and just wants everything to be solved. At the end of the movie you wonder if it was all necessary but it makes the movie what it is – a good watch. If you love movies and I mean love movies then you will want to see this film over and over again. I don’t think the first watch will explain all the twists the movie had but it certainly was entertaining. The movie is also a period film –great set design. You cannot ignore the choice of music for the film. As you hear it you think it was deliberately chosen. It is not sweet and calm but to create a particular effect.

I could not end though without sharing that an encounter Teddy Daniels had with a patient at one of the wards places everything in perspective. It took a storm, cutting electricity for that to happen. Just to say, the conversation revealed who Teddy Daniels was and who he was searching for – himself. The movie is so good that it makes the viewer become Teddy Daniels and allows you to feel the pain he struggles with caught between hallucinations and his own reality. It is revealed to Teddy Daniels the truth that everyone at the facility knows about him and his problem.

If you want to read how the movie really went, continue. I know you would want to read it.

Essentially Teddy Daniels lived a happy life. He came home one evening to see his three children all lying dead in the lake behind their house. In grieving, he shot his wife, killing her. Apparently at this point he went bizarre and had to be placed at Shutter Island – which takes us to the beginning of the movie. Understanding who he is, they tricked him into thinking he is going to Shutter Island to solve a mystery – the missing patient but instead he was there for his own treatment.

In all of this, he figures out he is not there to solve the mystery of the missing girl (they found her) but he becomes the 67th patient at Shutter Island.

There are even more twists in the movie. His pal Chuck Aule is revealed to be his doctor and he has been treating him for 24 months.

When the truth is finally revealed to Teddy Daniels at the end, he is flabbergasted because it is turning out to be true. Therefore everything we saw in the beginning is now false.

I received an invitation from a friend inviting me to the Edna Manley School of Dance Faculty in Concert titled “Physical Labrish…Reflections of the Moving Mind”.

For my international readers the word ‘labrish’ in the Jamaican culture means to gossip or to chitchat.

When I received the invitation I made up my mind in earnest to attend this concert. One, I have not been to many and since I am free why not? That same evening I had a group meeting for my Supervisory Management course which was near the dance school. I was late because of my group meeting but I could not miss it. I literally ran to the venue, paid the entry fee and walked right in, head upright as if I were early.

Looking back, I have been to a concert at Edna Manle before but it was in a different studio. The Dennis Scott Studio the venue for the concert was exquisite. I liked the interior, very modern. It made their presentation look credible. They utilised a huge projector and lighting to enhance their routines, which was pleasing to the eye. I will not continue to describe the aesthetic appeal but just to say, the stage without the dancers was good.

The faculty concert was dedicated to the late Professor the Honourable Rex Nettleford, O.M., O.C.C., F.I.J., who has been integral to the dance community in Jamaica and the Caribbean region. He was a Jamaican Scholar, choreographer and Vice-Chancellor Emeritus at the University of the West Indies. In 1963 he founded the National Dance Theatre Company of Jamaica, a respected ensemble which he led until he passed away.

Of the pieces I saw I could not decide on a favourite. I loved all of them. They each had something that you could connect with and appreciate.

To begin with the show had to be good. The dancers are lecturers in their field at the dance institution. How can they fail?

One of my favourites of the night was a piece entitled “Today and Tomorrow” choreographed by Arsenio Andrade-Calderon. It was very short but essentially he prepared for the rain. He sat on stage on a chair with his umbrella while dancers walked on stage opening water bottles one by one and pouring the liquid on his umbrella. It was a very reflective piece. After the pouring of the water which signified the rain he then closed the umbrella and walked out signalling the rain had ended – tomorrow.

I thought the piece could have been better presented if better use of the lighting was done. To signal the clouds and the initial preparations for the rain, the set could have been dark while brighter lights could signal the tomorrow which came after the dark moments. However the interpretation, the point was made.

The concert ended with everyone laughing. The final piece entitled”Of Tensions and Dilemma” brought to life through dance the struggles the lecturers encounter in their normal day-to-day activities as dance facilitators. The choreography began with teachers in traffic and the drama that comes with that – horrible bus drivers, persons walking on the streets etc. If you take public transportation you can appreciate it but more so Jamaican public transportation. The piece was hilarious, it included the struggles teachers go through with administration issues and student lackadaisical attitudes to education.

I could not end without telling you about my favourite Jamaican dancer, Neila Ebanks. She danced in many pieces at the concert but the two I enjoyed her in were entitled “The Edging of Sister Mitzie Margeret” and “Their work song…a moving musical soundtrack for making it through”. The Edging of Sister Mitzie Margeret was an excellent piece in terms of its production and execution. It began with Neila Ebanks on a video presentation and her obsessive compulsive behaviour to edgings/lines. The video presentation showed her entering the dance studio which was cut to show her continue her compulsive behaviour on stage. This piece showed some thought went on into its production. Leaving the stage the video presentation continued with her leaving the studio and Sister Mitzie Margeret continuing her behaviour on the outside (on video).

Based on the attendee’s reactions the concert was well received. The concert ran for the full weekend. I was their on the final night – Sunday and it was almost full house. Only some seats were empty (limited) which I think the organizers can take some compliments. I will be attending more Dance Concerts here – the quality is good.

However, I think the dancers here should take care of themselves. Jamaica has a culture where we think fat is attractive and in terms of dancing, the shapes and lines are so important that leading a healthy lifestyle is imperative to the visual senses. As I mentioned before I was not there for the beginning of the show and was aware of any states rules. I took my camera to take pictures. During the show I noticed no one was taking photos apart from the official media team. I did not want to be reprimanded so I did not.  However, I snapped a private camera phone shot and after that I noticed the persons beside me started to tape the show. This was at the end. After that, I took out my digital camera to snap the photos you see below. I am happy I did. The teachers gave a good show. I am happy the students have good role models to follow.

Faculty Members

Thank you!

This blog has officially received 40,000 hits from YOU, and YOU and YOU.

That song is dedicated to all the new viewers to this blog and all the lovely bloggers that visit this site on a regular basis. Welcome to the blog!

This blog is growing and I am excited about that. Moving on, I will be Guest Blogging on other sites officially. My first post on Young Brothas will be on March 1, 2010. We have agreed for me to officially write for that blog, once I submit entries. I am happy for the opportunity and do not worry whatever is on that site will be provided here.

Can someone say Celebration!

The final song is from The Oprah Show which featured Celine Dion and The Canadian Tenors. A little background. Both are from Canada and The Canadian Tenors have not met Celine Dion. So Oprah ‘surprise style’ she invited the male group and invited them under the premise that they were there because they were rising talents (although they are). The big surprise, watch and see. I love this.

Each time you click on this blog and some bloggers may leave a comment – I am surprised. The expression on their faces when Celine Dion walks out is the same moment I share, even now.

Thanks a million.

The movie Extraordinary Measures is an inspirational movie about a father and his quest to find the right medication for his two children that are suffering from Pompe disease.

This is a genetic disease that affects children that disables the heart and muscles. Because of the underdevelopment of the muscles it leaves them confined to a wheelchair. Children with this disease normally die at around age nine, at that stage the organs enlarge. You can imagine the shock and the despair John Crowley (Brendan Fraser) and Aileen Crowley (Keri Russell) parents of the children feel when they are told their young children have less than a year to live.

The family leads a pretty normal life, a working dad, stay at home mom with three children to care for. The father, a leading corporate executive is faced with a dilemma; to stay at his job and enjoy the perks of promotions – increased benefits, meeting deadlines and to watch his kids die from a disease that will rob them of a future before they are teenagers or leave the job and find the cure.

Directed by Tom Vaughan, the movie’s cinematography is not only good but shows his experience. The scenes in the movie are amazing; they will grip you from the beginning to end. The characters all have personalities that make you connect more with them. The daughter Megan is full of personality, a typical 8 year old who desires a future. She likes pink and loves to play.

John Crowley (Brendan Fraser) decides to fight the battle with his kids and leaves the state to the University of Nebraska where he meets Dr. Stonehill (Harrison Ford). Dr. Robert Stonehill (Harrison Ford) is a scientist who has explored the area of Pompe and has developed what he thinks is the cure. Leaving his wife behind with the children, John Crowley meets with Dr. Stonehill after chasing him down in the wee hours of the morning from his university office to a bar. At the bar, a relationship develops between the two. It leads to a business relationship, with both men partnering to find a cure to help the children, Megan Crowley (Meredith Droeger) and Patrick Crowley (Diego Velazquez).

To make John Crowley’s dream a reality of not only benefiting his own children they meet with executives from drug manufacturers. With this new partnership there are other issues that arise which make the movie even more exciting to watch. Extraordinary Measures is a true story and is an adaptation of the novel The Cure by Geeta Anand.

The movie also explores at length the politics, tribalism, materialistic goals of drug companies. I understand this is a moral dilemma for them and the company executives from the drug company kept emphasizing the importance of objectivity. Because, dealing with drugs, medicines and treating people if you are caught up with the Utilitarian Principle (doing good for the greatest number of people) you may not have a successful company at the end of the day. Drug companies are in business to make a profit and not primarily to save patients at the end of the day.

In the movie John Crowley, the father of the children is caught up emotionally with finding a cure that there is a huge disagreement between him and the company executives. When the company had completed the process and it was time to test the medication, it caused a major conflict of interest. There was a conflict of interest because John Crowley had a vested interest in the company and he also had an interest in the success of the product. Of course he wanted his children to have the medication first. To solve the issue, he was fired from the company. It was sad to see him go but the drug company maintained their strict adherence to policy.

His children did receive the needed medication. The testing worked and they responded well. The movie ends on a good note. Extraordinary Measures will not have you crying but its emotional journey will have you supporting these parents that placed everything on the line – their relationship and jobs to fight for a cure to save their ailing children. You will be cheering on these parents.

I only wish that you will get a hold of this movie and see it. It is worth your time. I yearn for the will that I might have the same fervour and strength these parents had in their darkest moment. The strength to fight on till the desired end is attained.

This post is dedicated to a blogger and a friend of this site who revealed that he has cancer. All of us here wish him the very best and a speedy recovery. I trust that he will not only have the audacity of hope but the certainty of faith that he will get better. Read his updates on his blog. http://jammer5spolyrant.wordpress.com/

I wanted to watch this movie because of its biographical nature. I thought it would have been great, stellar, and an amazing movie. I should have watched this movie days ago but somehow I just got around to it.

Amelia Earhart

Hilary Swank as Amelia

Amelia Earhart born on July 4, 1897 was declared legally dead on January 5, 1939. She was the first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean and was a noted American aviation pioneer and author. All of what she accomplished was in the era of pre-feminism, the turn of the century. In the movie, she failed at one attempt to lift the plane off the runway because of some mechanical problems and the men who saw what happened laughed her to scorn with all the media coverage.

Half way in the movie I was disappointed. I did not know the movie would have turned out the way it did. There was no build up. The movie reminded me of Jamaican journalists who put together News Year in Review and begin in September. The movie hinted at her childhood and I will tell you what happened. All you see is Amelia in a field (country) looking up at an airplane in the sky and says “I will fly one day”. She went from that to being the commander and flying aircrafts across the world.

I am no movie critic but I would have loved to see Amelia’s training, a look at her childhood, or take it from where she graduated. The movie started with her flying all over the place and the recognition she received early on.

In the beginning George Putnam (Richard Gere) who plays her promoter and husband did a creditable job at his role. This is the second movie I am watching in recent times with Richard Gere and he is a fantastic actor. Read my Hachiko: A Dog’s Story post to view that review. Back to the movie – In the beginning, in the twinkling of an eye George Putname (Richard Gere) plants a huge kiss on Amelia Earhart (Hilary Swank). Again, no build up, no flirting, nothing to show he was interested but they got hitched and later got married.

Amelia Earhart in the movie continues to fly all over the place, breaking records and embarking on new frontiers. There is a total difference in the first half of the movie when compared to the second. I wished the first half was as fun and exciting as the second. The first half was not slow but everything just happened and that took away from the movie.

The challenges she faces as a woman is inspirational I would imagine for the female audience who would see this movie. All in all it is an inspiring movie. She grew up at a time when women were not allowed to do certain things. For her to be flying an airplane was new. I read her Biography online and her childhood was not poor. Her parents were established citizens in Kansas. Her dad was a judge and a banker. Of course she would have some ambition in life, seeing that everyone around her did well.

Amelia Earhart (Hilary Swank) and George Putname (Richard Gere)

The cinematography in the movie was good. The shots of her flying the aircraft – those experiences were great to see. I loved the casting for the movie. Hilary Swank looks just like Amelia Earhart, although that was expected, the resemblance was close. Did she get into the character? That’s another case.

With the publicity of Amelia Earhart, there must have been challenges. Of course men were attracted to her, but more than that it caused a strain on her relationship at one point. Her husband, very protective of her became insecure when a friend Gene Vidal (Ewan McGregor) started to show interest. Amelia’s husband found a love letter she received from him. It could have ruined their relationship but it didn’t.

Amelia Earhart is portrayed as tom boyish in the movie. While this does not suggest she was a lesbian, her frequent comments about the beauty of the women she encountered leave this question wide open. Her androgyny fits in perfectly with her image as a woman like no other. It is not surprising that Hilary Swank, an actress celebrated for her androgynous beauty and her award winning role in Boys Don’t Cry (the story of transsexual Tina Brandon aka. Brandon Tina), was cast as Amelia Earhart.

What the movie explores also is her success and her final flight where she went missing in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

I particularly liked the way the movie ended. It brought closure in some way mainly from the husband’s perspective.

Would I recommend it? Watch it if you want to see a diluted biography.

February 6 – Today is Bob Marley’s 65th Birthday.

Bob Marley

Bob Marley is a worldwide legend. He is celebrated locally in Jamaica and loved internationally. The first Bob Marley song I learnt was One Love and many will admit this is the only one they know. I also know Three Little Birds because my father would always sing this one – even hum it or whistle to it. It was like a morning ritual. He would be by the side of the house near my room window working and all you hear is “Don’t Worry, about a thing.” Can I say maybe that was the wake up call.

Bob Marley’s song One Love is a staple on Jamaica’s Tourism advertisements internationally. In many parts of the world this man is idolised. Jamaicans will argue he isn’t awarded or celebrated enough because to this day some still advocate for him to be a National Hero or to be more awarded for his work. He brought Jamaican music to the world and has paved the platform for today’s musicians from Jamaica.

Imagine today we celebrate Michael Jackson’s birthday and the television networks don’t even have a feature about his life. I am sure they will have one. However, for most Jamaicans Bob Marley is just as huge (his music) and I expected to wake up to a nice Bob Marley program but there are none. I know many people are sad, I just read a tweet from a Jamaican who expressed he wants to see Bob Marley trending.

Happy Birthday to a son of Jamaica who has touched the world musically with his gifts. He will be remembered for his repertoire of songs and for bringing Jamaica’s music, reggae to the world.

Happy Birthday Bob Marley.

Bob Marley One Love

Bob Marley’s Three Little Birds

Redemption Song – Bob Marley

No Woman No Cry – Bob Marley

Kreativ Blogger Award

Mauro Paim from Reality Observer blog awarded me the Kreativ Blogger Award.

I want to thank Mauro for awarding me this wonderful award which seems to be very popular. I am sure I’ve seen it before on some other blogs.

With my blog I try to express my inner feelings on important issues that affect me. I must say I enjoy blogging and I want viewers to enter this space and feel free to articulate themselves on the issues and topics that are raised.

With this award I must tell seven things about myself. If you are a regular visitor to this blog you will know I mentioned ten interesting things about me already. So I will try to cover seven more.

Here we go:

  • I love ice-cream. My favourite flavours are Coconut, Strawberry and Cherry, also Mango.
  • I love choral music.
  • I love Television – Production, Marketing etc
  • I like new things – trends.
  • I love cheesecake.
  • I like going out – I may be reserved but I love dressing up and being out.
  • I love blogging – I’m addicted. It’s like my little baby.

My Seven Nominees for Kreativ Bloggers:

  1. http://craigabloomfield.wordpress.com
  2. http://beartoons.com/
  3. http://writerdood.wordpress.com/
  4. http://jammer5spolyrant.wordpress.com/
  5. http://duttybwoy.wordpress.com/
  6. http://damcfam.blogspot.com/
  7. http://www.pleasesaythedailey.blogspot.com/

The seven listed is just a few compared to the many hot, lovely blogs I follow daily. Check em out and look at the list on the blog roll.

I am 23 today, January 30th. I am excited, I just opened my gifts – hangover (joke) and now I am off to church to celebrate – hope the music is great.

Last night I had a blast – a party with my closest friends (and of course those friends brought guests – not a lot).

We had a ball, we danced, we laughed and we celebrated. So I continue today and hope my day will end on a high.

Of course Beyonce singing Happy Birthday to me would be a dream. But for now I will enjoy the video below.

A gift from my South African Blogger/Friend

Photos from my Birthday


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Party While You're Still Living

The 'Unexpected' Gifts